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Khayelitsha forum to start pilot project to ensure paramedic crews' safety

The Khayelitsha Health Forum says that paramedics should not have to fear for their safety when on duty.

FILE: An EMS paramedic responds to a call. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Khayelitsha Health Forum says that paramedics should not have to fear for their safety when on duty.

This after two attacks on ambulance staff in the area in recent weeks.

Paramedics were also held at gunpoint while responding to a call in Kraaifontein.

The forum's Mzanywa Ndibongo said he scheduled a meeting with police, the Khayelitsha community policing forum and local neighbourhood watch groups to set up teams who would be available 24 hours a day to safely escort ambulances to their patients in the area.

This was one of the solutions to help curb attacks on paramedic discussed at a health summit in the area over the weekend.

There were several red zone areas in some of Cape Town's gang-stricken communities that ambulances cannot enter without a police escort, but Ndibongo said many patients could die while ambulance crews wait for police to escort them.

“We are going to start a pilot project in Site C, Makhaya, and Harare because those places are red zones.”

Ndibongo said the forum was also planning awareness programmes to teach residents that they were partly responsible for ensuring the safety of paramedics.

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